Sidelines with John Clay

UK basketball recruiting, football and College World Series links

Kentucky coach John Calipari joined other coaches to watch recruits in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League in Indianapolis on Friday, April 28, 2017. Calipari was watching a game between Bol Bol and Cameron Reddish.
Kentucky coach John Calipari joined other coaches to watch recruits in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League in Indianapolis on Friday, April 28, 2017. Calipari was watching a game between Bol Bol and Cameron Reddish.

Big Blue Links for Monday:

UK assistant coach Joel Justus is headed to Argentina to recruit, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. “John Calipari will be in Colorado next weekend to oversee training camp for the USA Basketball U19 team — a series of workouts that will include several of the Wildcats’ top recruiting targets — but Calipari won’t be the only UK coach in close proximity to five-star prospects this month.”

Kentucky’s All-Star boys beat Indiana for the first time since 2008, reports Josh Moore of the Herald-Leader. “Finally. They didn’t make it easy on themselves, but Kentucky’s All-Star boys did what the last eight senior classes could not by defeating the Indiana All-Stars 111-110 in double overtime Sunday evening at the Frankfort Convention Center.”

Isaiah Briscoe is working out for the Lakers on Monday, reports Adam Zagoria. “Following a recent workout with his hometown New York Knicks, as well as workouts with Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and Portland, Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe has the Utah Jazz on Sunday and the L.A. Lakers on Monday, a source told Briscoe, not currently projected to be drafted per, averaged 12.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists last season at Kentucky.”

Three-star defensive tackle commits to Kentucky football, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. “(Tyler) Bentley — a 6-foot-3, 290-pound prospect from West Chester, Ohio — is ranked by ESPN as the No. 39 defensive tackle nationally in the class of 2018, and he will come to Lexington from the same Ohio high school, Lakota West, that produced current Wildcats offensive linemen George Asafo-Adjei and Kyle Meadows.”

Kentucky loses commitment from Florida wide receiver, reports Connor Riley of SEC Country. “The Kentucky Wildcats entered Sunday with the No. 4 recruiting class among SEC teams in the 2018 cycle. But Mark Stoops’ early efforts took a hit when Florida wide receiver Shocky Jacques-Louis announced his de-commitment from the program.”

Kentucky offensive lineman Logan Stenburg is a second-team pick on the Birmingham News pre-season All-SEC team. “It's time once again for the annual preseason All-SEC team, presented by and voted on as always by the conference's sports information directors. Here are the players chosen to the first- and second-team offense for the 71st annual team.”

Louisville’s Brendan McKay and Ballard’s Jordan Adell projected MLB first-round picks, reports Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal. “The latest mock drafts from both Baseball America and project McKay as the No. 4 pick to the Tampa Bay Rays, who seem to prefer him as a hitter, and Adell as the No. 9 pick to the Milwaukee Brewers.”

Here’s an MLB mock draft from Jay Jaffe of “Tonight at 7 p.m. EST, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will step to the microphone and announce whom the Twins, the owners of the number one pick of this year's amateur draft, will take. But with just hours to go, there's still suspense throughout the industry regarding the identity of that selection, with draft experts generally pointing either to Vanderbilt's Kyle Wright, a righthanded pitcher, or Louisville's Brendan McKay, a two-way player whose future path—whether as a lefty starter or first baseman—remains up in the air. Nonetheless, since publishing my first mock draft on May 16, the industry consensus regarding 1/1 has shifted from McKay to Wright, and so with that in mind, he leads off Mock 2.0.”

Louisville will face Texas A&M in the College World Series, reports Danielle Lerner of the C-J. “Texas A&M (41-21) clinched the College State Super Regional on its home field a few hours later, using a seven-run eighth inning comeback to complete a sweep of Davidson. The Aggies have earned six College World Series trips and last appeared in 2011.”

Eric Crawford of WDRB has five thoughts on Louisville baseball’s win over Kentucky. “THE KEY MOMENT OF THE SERIES. Every at-bat and every pitch in baseball is a chance to swing momentum, but the key moment of the whole weekend in this one came in the bottom of the seventh inning on Saturday. Kentucky finally had chased Louisville starter Brendan McKay, and was facing reliever Sam Bordner, who came into the game with two on and walked Evan White. Kentucky has had one of the most potent offenses in college baseball all season. One run was already in and the Wildcats trailed just 4-2.”

Florida-Wake Forest Super Regional suspended until Monday, reports Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun. “Game 3 of the Super Regional series, if necessary, would start 55 minutes after the conclusion of the second game. Florida (46-17) won Game 1 on Saturday night, 2-1, in the 11th inning. That game spanned about 7.5 hours after being delayed for nearly four hours heading into the bottom of the fourth inning because of rain and lightning. The winner of the best-of-three series earns a trip to the College World Series.”

LSU is going back to Omaha, reports Scott Rabalais of The Advocate in Baton Rouge. “Thanks to rain delays and runs and walks galore, Sunday's Game 2 of the NCAA tournament's Baton Rouge super regional didn’t end until well after Monday, June 12 arrived. That, fittingly, made it exactly one year since LSU was eliminated on their very same Alex Box Stadium field by Coastal Carolina in last season's super regional matchup.”

Mississippi State overachieved in Andy Cannizaro’s first season, says Logan Lowery of NE Mississippi Daily Journal. “ Not much was expected from Mississippi State in Andy Cannizaro’s rookie season as a head coach. The Bulldogs’ SEC Championship roster from last year was decimated by the pro baseball draft and injuries on the pitching staff along with the offseason coaching change.”

Rick Barnes says a Tennessee-Memphis series will happen, reports Tom Schad of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “When recently hired athletic director John Currie first joined the University of Tennessee as the executive director of its athletic scholarship fund in 1997, one of the first things the North Carolina native did was drive across the state to Memphis.”

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